Saturday, 30 December 2017

#What The Fade - A Favourite Finish

My #wtf, designed by Andrea Mowry,  has been finished for a while. You may notice I haven't used the acronym as my title. Not really that keen on the type of followers who might be typing that into their search engine. They might be rather disappointed. Hell .... maybe I will just for fun!

Anyhow you may remember I bought, heavily invested in the yarn, for this at Yarnfolk way back in August. I am always open for suggestions, and the lovely Green Rabbit Designs suggested I join the #wtf knitalong. Sounded fun. You see, only back in August this year, I was looking at all the lovely yarn but found it hard to visualise actual finished things. And whilst I was happy to spend all that money on yarn for a cardigan or jumper, it seemed a lot for a shawl. Two things to learn here, the pleasure is in the process, so a win here. And secondly, a shawl is an essential part of a wardrobe, cosy, warm, toasty, a great cover up and not actually for fish wives or fortune tellers. So win win.

The brioche knitting was the hardest technique I have ever tried. It is way harder than aran knitting, or colour knitting. I might not be very good at either of these but I can in theory do them. Once mastered the brioche was ok, and gives a great reversible look. I can see me doing it again. The important thing is lifeline, lifeline, lifeline. Pre brioche knitting I would never have understood why dental floss could be part of a knitter's bag.  Now I know. Secrets have been passed on.

I have been wearing this shawl pretty constantly since the finish in November. I wear it both outdoors and indoors. I think it is becoming my security blanket, certainly its great for keeping the draughts off the back of the neck. I wore it on a weekend with friends in London, and barely took it off to sleep
 the weather was so cold.

I did get loads of photos that weekend, but problematically there were other people in the photos who choose to remain anonymous. My husband (that's what he thinks!) and  friends who have not as yet signed consent forms!!

There are 6 different yarns in this shawl, all sourced from the skein queen based in Yorkshire. The yarns are all fingering weight, that's 4 ply in old money. Four of them are 100% superwash merino, and two are 80% superwash merino, 20% silk. Unfortunately the labels don't have the actual shade names on them, only one does, neon coral.

I do have loads of yarn left. This may well annoy some people, they don't like leftovers. Me? I love leftovers. I will enjoy using these leftovers up. I am not sure which pleases me more - playing yarn chicken and having just enough to do, or having loads left to "do something with" later. I love having lots of turkey and ham left in the fridge after Christmas. After a couple of days the husband gets edgy and wants to "clear the fridge out". No we don't - turkey and ham pie, yum. Tonight's tea, ham and chips, even more yum. In all truth this year, our turkey didn't make it past Boxing Day this year. Which is great, good to see it all eaten up.

This finish was part of my Finish A Long for 2017.                                                                                 

This brings me on to the second part of this post. The rampaging hordes returned for Christmas. Well, hardly rampaging, but there were 9 of us this year. Loved it! The house seems so deathly quiet now they have all gone home. I had this daft idea that I would knit everybody a hat to wear for spontaneous hilarity - you know - like the hilarious spontaneous families in the Christmas tv programmes. I managed to make it to 8 hats then lost steam.

 Everybody did cooperate with Mother's little pipe dream and we had some fun with them. Again, in the interests of privacy, I don't want to post all the photos, but here's a few.
We had a Santa hat.

We had a Santa hat with beard.
We had an Elf hat.

We had a baby Elf hat with bell, which even made it on his head!
We had a Christmas Pudding Hat

We had an Igloo hat with smoke hole

We had a Christmas Tree hat
And we had a Snowman hat
living in N Ireland,
this became a paramilitary snowman!
Like all things in life there is a lesson in these hats - the Elf hats and the Christmas pudding hat which were "proper wool" were quite nice to wear. The Santa hats and the snowman hat were acrylic and were less pleasurable on the head and stretched beyond all recognition very quickly. Then again they weren't knitted for longevity. Considering all the hats, bar one, came "out of my head" without a pattern, I am pretty pleased. And I soon left the one pattern I did  use. What next for next year? Christmas socks? Nine pairs? Don't think so!

Helen x


  1. Green Rabbit would need to get her finger out and finish the shawl she encouraged you to knit!!!
    Love all the Christmas hats!! :)

  2. The hats are adorable and the shawl is beautiful.

  3. I enjoyed seeing your hats on instagram and love them all! What a fun thing to do. Your shawl is amazingly gorgeous. I would probably wear it to bed as well as inside and outside! Happy New Year to your!!

  4. Brilliant post as always Helen.. I loved seeing the hat pics on IG and your shawl looks amazing..well done. Brioche scares me to death.. I will need to consult with you before I try this out.😁 Hope you are adjusting to your empty

  5. Beautiful shawl! I love leftovers, but only if I have plans for them - I got irrationally cross when my turkey only made it to 27th !

  6. It's a beautiful shawl. Amazing colours.

  7. All things cute, warm and fuzzy!!!

  8. I just LOVE your Christmas hats!! Loved seeing them appear on Instagram, MARVELLLING at your ingenuity and ability to do this 'just out of my head'...My aunt from Wales knitted like that, "oh I can't follow at pattern" yet she knitted the most wonderful tea cosies, two of which I lovingly own and use still. Glad you had such a wonderful wonderful Christmas, and oh, the wtf SHAWL! I've told you how much I love it, and the yarn, and all the different looks-- going to go get mine right now and start wearing it, heavens knows I need as many layers as I can get at these temps!


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